May 15

The Bhandaris

We kept meeting them many times. This wonderful witty old man, always dressed in a suit with a very English hat, and this sparkling, white haired lady, immaculate in her sari or utterly at ease wearing jeans… and they kept telling us to come and stay with them when we were in Delhi, and we would tell them, we want to keep you as friends… that if we come along and stay, with us an entire battalion of very boisterous young people will also land up and start to dig in your fridge 🙂

And, they would say, oh don’t worry about it, we are used to all that… you guys just come! And we would laugh and say … oh we will see about it…

Then we met this delightful couple in Bali, where Ranji bhai cornered us. They said we know you are coming to Delhi, you cannot give us the slip, now you have to come and stay with us … We gave the usual story, they just waved it aside saying we have 5 grand children and 3 dogs, we know what is noise!!

We later found out that he was 81 and she 71, and they had been married for 49 years… next year is their 50th wedding anniversary!

pnrbh

… and so one late winter night, we found ourselves at Padmini Enclave their beautiful home. We reached around midnight, and Prama bhabhi had told us that she would keep a meal ready for us in a little cottage which was adjoining the main house. We walked down the garden path to welcoming warm lights twinkling at us through the trees, to a cosy, lovely little place which was to be our home for the next few days and an amazing meal…

It’s a lovely, serene, quiet home right in the heart of Delhi… They have a huge garden with lots of trees and opposite their house, there is a heritage ruin… so there is birdsong and flowers and trees and miraculously there is almost no noise even from the traffic of the main road which is just minutes away. It felt like we were in some lovely hill station… it definitely didn’t feel like Delhi!

We had a glorious few days with them… superb meals, fantastic conversations and we got to meet some very interesting people who would come to stay with them. Ranji bhai’s father had been the first chief justice of India in the time of Nehru, and they had had a unique view of the entire independence struggle… It was fascinating to meet people who had come to this world, when electricity was almost a dream, and who are now utterly at ease with the internet and using mobile phones!

They have two beautiful dogs, both doberman, sleek and black… very friendly once you get to know them… We played a lot with the dogs who were family.

There were many stories that they shared with us which had us glued to our seats, some scary, some hilarious… somehow time went much slower there, after a hearty meal and 3-4 stories when i would think it must be well past midnight, it would turn out that it’s not even 11 pm… Dinesh and i would always wonder about that…

Our very noisy friends didn’t faze the two of them at all… in fact Ranji bhai would come and regale them with more stories and incidents from his very colourful life and they all went back with a bit of history in their hearts and a smile on their face…

I took over the kitchen for a few meals and Prama bhabhi shared with me some of her quickie recipes too. She mentioned that she had put on weight since we had come and stayed with them… i took it as a complement! 🙂

May we all age just as gracefully and graciously as the Bhandaris. And have hearts as big as theirs to be able to share of ourselves with  everyone around us.

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

May 13

May 13th

May 13th

Mai Tera… (in hindi, 13th May translates to Tera Mai, which amazingly also means I am yours)

We are yours too! 🙂

Happy Birthday our dearest Guruji

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa n dinesh

May 12

Mushroom Pate

1 packet of mushrooms washed and roughly cut into chunky pieces

1 big carrot peeled and grated

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

2-3 dried red chillies (optional)

A small quantity of any left over veggie you want to add 🙂 … I used a small zucchini piece that was waiting it’s turn in the fridge

2 tablespoons full cream

Olive oil, Salt, pepper, mustard to taste

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat some (3-5 tablespoons) of olive oil and add the garlic and stir it around till it browns slightly. If you want it to be spicy, you could add 2-3 dried red chillies and cook for a bit. Remove them from the oil before going to the next step. Add the grated carrot and cook for 2 minutes. Then add your (left over) veggie(s) and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the seasoning and cook until tender, another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the cream and remove from heat.

Blend with a hand grinder or in a mixie. Don’t add water, it needs to be nice and thick.

Toast some bread and spread the pate on it. Or spread the pate on a some slices of bread, sprinkle some grated cheese and grill till the cheese melts. Or simply dip your finger into the pate and lick! 🙂

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

May 11

Punny ones :)

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’

14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, ‘No change yet.’

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

18. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

19. A backward poet writes inverse.

20. In democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your count that votes.

21. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

22. Don’t join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

May 8

Religion and Spirituality

A very quick article on Religion and Spirituality on the viewspaper … just published, have a look :)… read, rate (that’s done by clicking on the stars at the bottom of the article), comment …

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

PS btw, if you have not read and rated the other articles that i have written, please do so 🙂 … if you scroll to the few updates post below you will get all the links

May 7

True Magic

… Continued from Introducing Supriya Iyer

Today was D-day. She would have to appear for the personal interview. What chance did she have?! She would certainly fail on looks, voice, laugh and familiar. Cmon Priya, its time we went to that place, shouted her father. Don’t forget to get Frankie, yelled ma. They had been most understanding about her wanting to become a witch once they saw her curdle milk with a glance and turn it into rich dahi with a flick of her wrist. And that time when they were stuck in a traffic jam, getting horribly late for Namita Auntie’s daughter’s wedding, Supriya had suggested an alternate mode of transportaion. Ma had alighted gracefully from the bai’s broomstick, adjusted the pleats of her silk sari, and commented, “Why this is not much different from a scooter ride from Bandra to Churchgate”.

“And less bumpy too,” pointed out her father.

She pulled Frankie’s hair all over the place to make him look scary. All it did was make him look untidy. And cute. She hastily put her worst dress on and uncombed her hair. And rushed out of her door and ran to the car and to her dismay found that she had forgotten to undo the door bless.

By the time she was entering the gates of IITWW, Bombay, the magic had finished working. She was radiant. Cheeks glowing, hair brushed and cascading and dress new and starched. There was nothing for it now, she thought… Nothing I can do. I will have to study calculus. All around her were girls and boys her age, who had white hair or green eyes. Who could cackle. They had spiders and mice and bats and owls as familiars. She stood out like a sore thumb.

And suddenly her name was called. Supriya Iyer, please go to door number 13. She walked to number 13, her heart beating faster and faster, making the blood go to her cheeks and making her look even more beautiful. She hesitantly knocked on the door, and pushed it open. Frankie scampered in.

The room was bare. And dark. A rich red carpet covered the floor. But there were no chairs, no tables and no one. She stepped in and the door softly and resolutely snapped shut behind her.

Ok darling, drop your disguise please boomed a voice.

Supriya’s lips twitched and a small tear trickled down her face. I am not in a disguise, she sobbed. This is how I really look. She noticed a beautiful huge mirror on the wall to the left and she turned to face herself. And suddenly stopped crying. She looked and felt really good she thought. Did she really require a wart to do magic? Did she really have to cackle hideously to put a hex?
I am not in disguise. THIS is how I am. I love music and singing. I love my laugh. I love myself and I really want to study witchcraft. I want to learn magic. And I won’t do any more bad deeds for the day!

A white light, dazzlingly bright flashed. The room faded…

Supriya found herself in a foyer surrounded by many young people. Many of them beautiful or handsome, others plain, some ugly. All holding little yellow slips in their hands. All exultant.

Her slip read, “It’s a myth that you need to be ugly (or beautiful) to be a witch. It’s also a myth that you need to do bad deeds to be a great witch. To gain admission at IITWW, Bombay, you simply need to accept yourself as you are. Only then can true magic be learned. Only then can true magic happen!

Welcome to IITWW and Congratulations!

PS You will need to learn calculus though, it’s a myth too that wizardry and witchcraft don’t require the knowledge of calculus.

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

May 6

Supriya’s Song

I want to be Ugly,
Not lovely…
I want to cackle,
Not sparkle.
I need some warts,
And some tangled knots.
I need a bat or a spider,
For a familiar.
Why, I will even settle for a tiger!
I am so sad…
I don’t feel good when I am bad.

In fact just the other day,
I helped an old man find his way.
I fed a hungry bird some seeds,
And saved an ant from drowning with some leaves.
I even make poems rhyme…
Though that takes up so much time.
All this while, I could have been bad,
Ooooohhhh, I am feeling so very horrible
I have started to feel good when I am noble.

I am so very, very sad…
I don’t feel good when I am bad.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

May 4

Introducing Supriya Iyer

I had a go at writing fiction… this is my first ever short story… I had great fun writing it 🙂

I am a total disaster, she sobbed. I have flawless skin. I don’t have any warts or pimples. Not even acne. I have long beautiful dark brown hair and deep dark brown eyes. When I laugh it sounds like the tinkle of delicate bells. I can sing. The kind of songs that actually make people smile, and not scare them away. I have a cute little toy poodle for my familiar. And my name is Supriya Iyer. How could I possibly pass the entrance exams and clear the interview for becoming a witch?

Her poodle, that she had named Frankenstein in the wild hope that he would become fearsome, listened to the wailing with a bored twitch of his ears. He had heard it many, many times. He had, contrary to what Supriya wanted, become a very cute and cuddly little dog, though he would use his powers to mercilessly zap any cats who tried to get fresh with him with various curses. Soon mommy cats would scare their little kits with stories of Frankenstein’ curses, if they didn’t drink their milk or they didn’t sleep their 20 hours every day.
Oh Frankie, what do I do? None of the hexes I have gotten off the internet work on me. They only work on other people. Why only yesterday, I gave Sunanda from the sixth floor such a lovely wart right on the tip of her nose. And all she had to do was share her ice cream with me. But now she is not even talking to me. She screams every time she looks in the mirror. That was my bad deed of the day, but I didn’t like making her feel bad. Is that counted then? And if I don’t get in, then my powers will just fade away… even my memory that I could do magic will go, and I will never be able to understand anything you say and worst of all I will have to study calculus (I got very high marks in 10th standard, I knew I should not have used magic to give the board exams). Worse still, I may even have to get married!
Magic is not going to help me, she thought. I need a miracle. She thought of some of the Devas who she was friendly with, but all of them had refused to make her ugly or even teach her how to cackle. They all said that she would simply have to get very high marks on the BWW (Basic Witchcraft and Wizardry), and then use her talents to get through the interviews. She was not so scared of the BWW, it was the personal interview that made her heart flutter.

The BWW had been a month ago, and she had cleared it. She had applied to the very prestigious IITWW (The Indian Institutes of the Technology of Witchcraft and Wizardry). Especially IITWW, Bombay which was world famous in India.

Today was D-day. She would have to appear for the personal interview. What chance did she have?! She would certainly fail on looks, voice, laugh and familiar.

Cmon Priya, its time we went to that place, shouted her father. Don’t forget to get Frankie, yelled ma. They had been most understanding about her wanting to become a witch once they saw her curdle milk with a glance and turn it into rich dahi with a flick of her wrist. And that time when they were stuck in a traffic jam, getting horribly late for Namita Auntie’s daughter’s wedding, Supriya had suggested an alternate mode of transportaion. Ma had alighted gracefully from the bai’s broomstick, adjusted the pleats of her silk sari, and commented, “This is really not that much different from a scooter ride from Bandra to Churchgate”.

“And less bumpy too,” pointed out her father.

She pulled Frankie’s hair all over the place to make him look scary. All it did was make him look untidy. And cute. She hastily put her worst dress on and uncombed her hair…

What happens next? Will she clear her interview and get admission into IITWW? Will she bcome ugly on time? Will she get her chance for becoming a witch?!

Cmon you guys, use your imagination to complete the story 🙂

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

PS i wrote a poem too… Supriya’s Song, watch out for it in a day or 3 🙂

May 1

Tofu Dip

A really quick and easy dip…

1 packet tofu (100 gms) roughly cut into small pieces, use cold tofu from the fridge

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons of Soya Sauce

1 tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar

1 teaspoon of Dhania Jeera powder

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice of 1 lemon (optional)

2 finely chopped basil leaves (for garnish)

Put all of the above in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and whirrrrrr with a blender. It should form a thickish paste of dropping consistency. Empty into a bowl and garnish with 2 finely chopped basil leaves.

Serve it cold, so if you used tofu at room temperature, chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before eating it. Finger licking good with anything fried, or on toasted bread with butter as a spread or for using just as a dipping sauce for slivers of carrots and other crunchy fresh vegetables.

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

PS Dinesh and i are on the adv course this week end, so we wont be answering and phones/emails etc until after Rudra Pooja on Monday morning… see you then 🙂

Apr 30

Few more updates :)

Got tired of updating the few updates post … so here you are with one more update post!

I had to write 11 articles for the Viewspaper, the Youth Magazine for a writing internship that i did with them. If there was one thing i learned from the entire process, it was that i could write on a varied range of topics pretty well 🙂 They have not yet published my sports (yes!) article and my fictional short story and poem… if they don’t i will put it up on the blog for all of you to read. One of my articles that i have already published here about the Kashmiri terrorists families getting pension they found too radical and didn’t publish 🙂 … The rest they did, and i think they all mkae some pretty good reading! Here is the entire list for you to rate (there are 5 stars at the end of every article, click on the 5th star for excellent), read and comment on (you guys need to leave comments on that site too).

On tour in New Zealand

Global Warming and what we can do about it

An intro to Network Marketing

Pianos and Paris: A book Review

Review of Dostana – The Disaster

Voting and why it should be done

The Sixth Sense (no its not about meditation or Bruce Willis, something totally different)

An Interview with a Chef (Rohit Rao, Seema Rao’s husband who none of us know, yet)

The last two are new, but you could read all of them again 🙂 AND dont forget to rate them!

Dinesh and i are going to be teaching a YES!+ course in Bangalore from the 15th of May, a DSN in Mumbai from 28th May and another DSN in Poona from 4th June. We may also teach a YES!+ in Poona from the 3rd of June, before returning back to Bangalore. We will be teaching a Mathemagic and a Financial Literacy workshop in both the cities.

We also have got confirmed dates for 2 Advance courses for YES!+ at the Bangalore Ashram:

21st May to 25th May, Reporting anytime on the 20th, departure anytime on the 26th

4th June to 8th June, Reporting anytime on 3rd June, departure 9th June evening or before 12 noon on the 10th of June

Both these courses have limited seats, possibly just 400 or so, and registrations may be closed as soon as Ashram capacity is full. So PLEASE register right away if you want to be on these courses. Do note that the course fee will become more as the dates get closer. Guruji will be physically present on most of the days on both the courses! For any details you need, please contact your local YES!+ teacher or Gauri at the Ashram. Her email id is gauri@yesplus.org

Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle

And, if you have still not seen the Susan Boyle video on youtube, do yourself a favour and see it with the volume turned way up. Dont watch it with crummy laptop speakers, if possible connect to an external stereo and watch 🙂 It’s perhaps one of the best videos i have seen on youtube and there was a smile on my face and my eyes were moist at the end…

Jai Gurudeva!

love

bawa

PS If elections have not yet happened in your area, on election day, go vote!

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